Former NHL enforcer Gino Odjick dies at 52

The Vancouver Canucks announced Sunday that longtime enforcer Gino Odjick has tragically passed away at the age of 52.

The Maniwaki, Quebec product grew up playing outdoor hockey on the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. Odjick was drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Draft by the Canucks and was a key player with the Laval Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) winning back-to-back QMJHL championships in 1988- 89 and 1989-90. Odjick made his NHL debut the following season, recording eight points and 296 penalty minutes in 45 games. spent eight seasons with the Canucks and was widely known as the team’s badass; he defended everyone. In the Canucks’ 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Odjick played the role again and was a key member helping the club reach the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. Odjick holds the Canucks team record for most penalty minutes, a whopping 2,127, the most in franchise history. In March 1998, he was dealt to the New York Islanders in exchange for Jason Strudwick.

Throughout Odjick’s 12 seasons with the Canucks, Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens; Odjick had 64 goals and 73 assists for 137 points in 604 regular season games. He has recorded 2,567 penalty minutes throughout his career, which ranks 17th all-time in NHL history. In 1996-97, he was the league’s most penalized player with 371 penalty minutes in 70 games.

In June, Odjick had his plaque unveiled at the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Class of 2021. As he walked to the stage, fans in attendance chanted “Gino, Gino, Gino,” a chant that dates back to his first handful of NHL games when he fought heavyweights Dave Manson and Stu Grimson. .

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